I am always very surprised when I visit the newly opened Pilates studio, which has the latest equipment in the world, but there is not a single spinal corrector. Once I was even invited to conduct a class on a spinal corrector, and when I entered the hall, it turned out that I would use Bosu or FitBall as a corrector. Of course, each equipment has its own purpose, but none can replace the corrector. Joseph Pilates created not only equipment, also known today as a small barrel or a barrel with a step, but also a set of special exercises for it. The archive contains drawings of this undoubtedly brilliant invention, as well as photos in which J. Pilates performs exercises on the corrector, and all this in 1945.
There were two proofreaders that differed slightly in width and length. The first, which is known as the East Coast corrector, is slightly narrower, but 5cm longer than the so-called West Coast corrector. I don’t know why he was called that way, because, according to my information, Pilates himself never taught on the west coast. The main difference between the correctors is that one of them is longer and its arch is less steep (East Coast), while the West Coast corrector has a deeper step, which provides better support for the lumbar spine. Both options have their advantages and a full line of exercises for the whole body. I work with both correctors depending on the needs of the body and what I want to teach a person.
Today, the market offers many variations of this equipment, they differ in length, design and material from which they are made, but personally I prefer to work with those corrections that are closest to the original. Many of them are quite small and easy to transport, this is undoubtedly a wonderful addition to studio equipment, besides they are cheaper, they can be used as a transition from a class on a mat to large equipment.
I have a special relationship with the spinal corrector. When I just started doing Pilates and tried to somehow cope with my scoliosis, I spent most of the time in the class on the corrector. Such work allowed me to pay attention to imbalances in the body and allowed me to build myself in such a way as to get a good result. I worked quite well for the Reformer and Cadillac, allowing them to work in my place, but somehow I couldn’t agree with the corrector. Very quickly, I realized that for the quality of the exercises I would need to constantly monitor myself and work very accurately. And if I want to somehow correct my own imbalances, then the corrector is exactly the equipment that I need.
The work program on the spinal corrector is aimed at eliminating the imbalances existing in the body, both functional and structural. The corrector itself is a wonderful tool for assessing the degree of such imbalances. It provides all the support necessary for the body and maximizes the rotation of the spine, your clients begin to feel the asymmetry of their body, and this allows them to independently correct these imbalances, using the corrector as a kind of pointer. Flexion, extension, tilts to the side and rotational movements together with breathing allow you to balance movements and streamline the work of the center muscles. The program of exercises on the spinal corrector provides an understanding of body alignment in dynamics, and also allows you to work asymmetrically, in order to teach the center and back muscles to work in a different mode unusual for the body.
Work on the corrector is ideal for energetic people. Various rotational drawings, exercises for stretching the spine, variations on the theme of such classical exercises as, for example, Boomerang, kicks or Butterfly will interest and captivate even very experienced customers. And as an instructor, you will appreciate the familiar exercises for a long time.
The corrector can also be positioned on the Reformer or Cadillac and result in a whole new dimension of exercise. Enough amplitude movements to stretch the spine will be safer, as the corrector will provide the pelvis and spine with the necessary support. Work on the corrector with the Reformer will increase the load on the muscles of the center and complicate the work with balance. Such work will require a very competent approach and deep knowledge from the instructor.
Elders say that Clara Pilates was very fond of working on the spine corrector. This is my favorite equipment and I would really like it to be in all Pilates studios and used both in a group and in individual work. On YouTube you can find a video in which J. Pilates demonstrates a program of work on his equipment, and I offer you some of my favorite exercises.